Friday, December 11, 2015

Cora - Month Nine and Ten

Cora at 10 months {this is sooooo late, she was 10 months old on Nov 23rd}.....
  • My sweet girl! She is such a love and always happy, smiling and laughing. She is becoming more and more independent, not wanting to be held as much, and she's always ready to play when I drop her off at preschool. She loves carrying toys and books around with her. She LOVES music and dancing. Any song will get her going. It must be a second child thing plus a not-so-girly Mom who doesn't know what to buy for a girl, but she really doesn't have many of her own toys. She happily plays with all of G's hand-me-downs. We did get her some of her own things for Christmas so we'll see if she has any favorites then.

  • The biggest thing that happened? She started walking!!!! She had been taking one or two steps to us and then Nov. 24th, while we were in Ojai for Thanksgiving, she started taking more steps on her own. Now she is walking everywhere! It's even become her preferred method of getting somewhere. I love seeing her cruising around, squealing with delight over her new skill.

  • She enjoys her time at school and the teachers told me the other day that she is always so happy and such a joy in the class. That made my Mama heart swell. 
  • At her 9 month check-up on October 23rd, she was 18 lbs 8 oz (50%), 27 inches long (25%) and her head was 44 1/2 cm (73%). She had her booster flu shot a couple weeks ago and weighed 19 lbs 10 oz. She's growing so fast!

  • She LOVES food! Just like her brother. She eats everything we give her. She is also using a sippy cup for water and doing really well with it, so I am going to start giving her formula in it to practice. Next month I will start weaning her onto cow's milk. I've also started giving her a fork and spoon to practice feeding herself.
She loves to put that foot up when she eats

  • She naps well at home and less at school. She can do 2 to 3 hours at home, but only naps 45 minutes at school. She is so exhausted at the end of school days. Her nighttime sleep can be great, straight through from 8 pm to 7 am on most days. Finally! She still has some nights that she wakes up once, but it's been much better lately. 
  • She still has eight teeth, but I can tell more are on their way. She chews on everything and is drooling tons.

  • She still absolutely adores her brother. If he smiles at her or talks to her, she starts giggling and waving her hands around. He is already becoming her little protector, singing to her when she is upset (pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo) and sharing toys with her to keep her busy. He also plays "chase" with her with the walker toys. He can be so sweet with her, guiding her all around the house when she gets stuck. And then there are times when he is too rough or takes everything away from her and she gets upset. Siblings. 

Can I just say how much fun it is through the holidays with these two?!?! I couldn't be more grateful to be at this point, raising these sweet babies of mine. They are my everything. There are days that feel so long, but the next minute I remember how soon it will be that they no longer need me to kiss them when they cry and help them put their shoes on and wash their hair. It's then that I slow down and let the frustrations go and enjoy all of the moments, even the hard ones. What a bittersweet thing it is to be a parent. So many joys and yet my heart hurts at the same time, thinking of them grown up. I have to force myself to live in the present.

Happy Holidays and New Year to all! I'll probably post again for her first birthday. OMG, she's turning ONE next month! Hold me.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cora - Month Seven and Eight

8 months
7 months

Cora at 8 months.....
  • She is such a good baby! She is still attached to Mama, but much less so these days. She is fine with others holding her and she doesn't wail every time she sees me walk past her. She always wants to move and go and explore! Just like her brother! She is still very happy and is beginning to "talk" more and more. First word: Dada!! G's first word was Mama so I was so happy she did that for her Daddy. She just started saying it on 9/18, so just before 8 months. She loves to swing her arms around when she is happy/excited. And that's mostly when she is watching her brother. Boy, does she love him!

  • She continues to do well at school. I love that our Montessori starts the babies off young with their methods. The teachers always leave comments on her daily that say she makes the other kids happy with all her smiles - melts my heart :) 

  • We don't go back to the doctor again until she is 9 months old (October), but she is a solid girl! She is getting heavier and heavier to carry. I switched out the infant bucket seat with a new Britax convertible. She is wearing 6 - 12 month and 12 month clothing and has been in a size 3 diaper for a while now. Breastfeeding... I nurse her once or twice a day during the week, and more on the weeekends. As usual, I was freaking out about my decline in supply, knowing that I wouldn't need to supplement with formula if I wasn't working and so insanely busy, stuck in meetings all the time, etc. But then I realized that it is what it is. I just don't have much choice. I would be sacrificing sleep and time with my kids to add in pump sessions where I could and it wasn't worth it to me. I wish the US had year-long maternity leaves like some other countries. In the end, she is happy and healthy and that's what matters most.
  • She loves food! She is eating everything now. She has had eggs, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, toast, blueberries, bananas, watermelon, applesauce, noodles, crackers, chicken, steak, rib meat, salmon, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, guacamole, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, carrots, puffs, cheerios and every pureed fruit and veggie that I've found in the organic pouches. 

  • She doesn't nap much at all, sometimes only 30 minutes all day, especially at school. I think her average nap on the weekdays is just one hour. She sleeps better at night on those days. She had been waking up between 3 and 5 am and I was nursing her and then putting her back down. This week I decided to try and wean her off of that. Instead I pop her pacifier in and she falls back to sleep. We will see how it goes. So far, so good. I am not a huge fan of "sleep training", I just try to do what feels right. This week she slept through a couple of nights, so sleep is getting better.
  • She is still super strong and her teachers are very impressed with her abilities and determination!  She is crawling everywhere now and fast. She pulls up with ease and just this past week (9/18) she started pushing her walker around to take steps. Her teachers also told me she has been standing on her own (not holding anything) this week. I am pretty sure she is going to be walking by month nine or ten. She loves her toys; favorites are the slinky, paper (which lasts a couple seconds before she eats it, ha!), taggies owl, her teethers, any of G's toy cars that she can roll around, and standing at her music table. Everything goes into her mouth right now - that's especially fun when Grayson plays with teeny tiny Lego pieces all day long. She has four teeth on the top and three on the bottom, with more on the way! So many teeth already.

  • She looooves her brother. Just completely adores him and thinks he is the greatest and most fun person ever. He always makes her smile and laugh, and talks to her non-stop. He is an amazing big brother. He enjoys giving her kisses and is always saying "it's okay" when she cries. It melts my heart. I love watching their relationship grow. They have started playing together too. It's adorable!!!!

  • She still loves the water. She kicks her legs non-stop when she takes a bath or when we go in the pool. She takes her baths with brother in the big tub and loves it! She really likes being outside and it seems to put her at peace so quickly. She enjoys the swings, looking at herself in her play mirror, chomping on her teethers, watching the kitties and Apollo, peek-a-boo, patty cake, reading stories, playing with her brother with whatever he is doing, hanging out in the stroller or Tula, and exploring everything around her. 

We just love our sweet girl so much. She really balances our family and I get so much joy watching her and her brother grow up together. My mama heart is so full and happy. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Cora - Month Five and Six

Oh my goodness. Life has been absolutely crazy! Crazier than I can ever remember. I'm swamped at work, Nick is swamped at work plus taking two summer classes for school, all of our weekends are booked for months, both kids are growing up so fast... it's just been so chaotic. I haven't even looked at my blog in forever. My sweet girl will just have a combo post for months five and six. OMG, 6 months already?!?! Slow down, time! And just as I'm about to post this combo update, another week three weeks goes by.... Sheesh. I feel like I'll never catch up...

Cora at 6 months.....
  • Oh, my happy girl! She really is just like her pictures; happy, happy, happy! And there is nothing that makes me more proud than to see that my kids are happy. She has the best smile and loves to giggle. She is very ticklish under her neck so it's my favorite place to kiss :)

  • She started at the Montessori school with her brother on June 22nd. And the two weeks prior to that, she went to work with me! She did so well. But she is loving her teachers and spending time with all the babies in her room. Everything there is going great and she even gets to visit with her brother during the day. She does not sleep much at school. Usually only one nap, for an hour to an hour and a half. But she tends to sleep better at night when she has less naps, so that's fine with me!
Video of her pulling to stand:
  • At her 6 month appointment (July 24th), she weighed 16.8 1/2 lbs (55%), was 25 1/2 inches long (25%) and her head measured 42 1/2 cm (60%). She is wearing 6 - 12 month and 9 month clothing and has been in a size 3 diaper for a while now. Breastfeeding is still going great, but I am not getting enough from pumping at work for all her bottles at school. They have formula there to supplement as needed. At first, I was freaking out about it but then I realized that it is what it is. Because of how crazy my work schedule has been, plus getting stuck in meetings where I can't pump, I just didn't have a lot of choice. I would be sacrificing sleep and time with my kids to add in pump sessions where I could and it wasn't worth it to me. Especially when she is getting A LOT of breast milk as it is. Good news is no more colicky episodes! Her digestion system seems to be sorted out now. She has also started on purees and table foods. 

  • Sleep varies. She is in her crib now in her own room. Just this week, she gave me 2 nights of uninterrupted sleep from 9:00 pm to 7:30 am! Yay! It's unpredictable right now. Sometimes she wants to nurse and other times she just needs her pacifier and she falls back to sleep. Speaking of the pacifier, we only use it for sleeping and I prefer it that way.

  • She is still super strong and her teachers are very impressed with her abilities and determination!  She is crawling everywhere now. She is also sitting up on her own. Just this week, she is starting to pull herself up onto things. Already!!!! I feel like she is going to be walking so much earlier than G did. She holds and swings her toys around. Everything goes into her mouth right now. Her two bottom center teeth are all the way through and I see some swelling in her upper gums so I think those are next. She is very vocal and screeches and "talks" and babbles all the time. Her hair is growing in more. I can't wait until it gets longer and people stop saying "he", despite the purple and florals I always put her in, ha!

  • She loves her brother. He always makes her smile and laugh. He has been amazing as a big brother too. He really loves her, enjoys giving her kisses and is always saying "it's okay" when she cries. It melts my heart. Of course he also takes toys from her sometimes, but overall it's good. I love watching their relationship grow. They have started playing together lately too. It's adorable!!!!

  • She still loves the water. She kicks her legs non-stop when she takes a bath or when we go in the pool. I put her in a little laundry basket in the bath now that she wants to sit up all the time, and she loves it! She really likes being outside and it seems to put her at peace so quickly. She enjoys the swings, looking at herself in her play mirror, chomping on her teethers, watching the kitties and Apollo, peek-a-boo, patty cake, reading stories, playing with her brother with whatever he is doing, hanging out in the stroller or Tula, and Mom! She is sure all about me right now. 

We just love our sweet girl so much. She really balances our family (although I am still not 100% sure if we are complete) and I get so much joy watching her and her brother grow up together. My heart is so full and happy. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cora - Month Four

Cora at 4 months.....
  • She is still a very happy baby, always smiling and cooing at everyone. She is just the sweetest girl. She is talking more and more. She has just started to get clingy to me. She doesn't want to be put down much and loves to be in my arms to see all that is going on around her or wrapped in the Solly or Ergo. She is becoming more aware and knows when someone else is holding her. She can also get overwhelmed with too much loud noise or too many people trying to give her attention. She is taking after me on that ;) 

  • At her 4 month appointment, she weighed 14.2 1/2 lbs (50%), was 24.5 inches long (50%) and her head measured 41 cm (70%). She is wearing 6 month clothing and is still in a size 2 diaper. Breastfeeding is still going great and she eats every hour to two hours during the day. She has had several colicky episodes where she loses her mind fussing and nothing can console her. I burp and rock and sway and shush until she finally gets little burps out. My poor girl. Thankfully it's not too often. She still uses her pacifier and blankie for her naps. 
Grayson on top, Cora on bottom - she is beginning to look like him as a baby

  • Sleep is good. She usually wakes around 3 or 4 am to eat, although last night she slept from 9:30 pm until 7 am. We still haven't moved her into her own room. We keep procrastinating on that, so she's in the pack 'n play next to our bed. She is still swaddled as she hasn't rolled to her tummy yet. 

  • She is super strong! She can stand on her own if she has something to keep her from falling over. She is always trying to sit up when you lay her down flat and she has (and has always had) amazing neck strength. When she is up for it, she enjoys swatting her toys on her playmat and doing some tummy time. She is grabbing at everything now, putting everything in her mouth, especially her fingers, and is drooling a ton. I think she's starting to teeth. Her favorites are the nursing/teething necklace I got from Etsy and the Comotomo teether. She loooooooves her brother, and the feeling is mutual. She will crack up and smile and coo at him when he talks to her. He loves to kiss her hands and smile at her. Whenever she smiles back, he says "I'm making baby sister happy!" I about die from the cuteness!!

  • She went on her first road trip/camping trip/vacation. She did really well. The only issue was the colicky episodes, which were more frequent on the trip. I'm not sure why, but otherwise she was great and I can't wait for a few other trips we have planned this year. 

  • We've started taking her in the pool as the weather is warming up and she loves it. She kicks her legs the entire time and smiles. I can't believe I have two fish kids - they both are obsessed with the water like me.

  • She starts at the Montessori school Grayson attends on June 22nd. Siiiiiiiiigh. It's so hard for me making that transition from spending every minute with her to being away for 8 hours a day. I've already had a few crying sessions about it. My company was desperate for me to come back earlier because things are a bit crazy, so I agreed to start this upcoming Monday and bring her in with me. It will help some with the transition. Plus they offered me some vacation time for this year in exchange. The other catch is that Nick will be on a business trip my whole first week back without her. That should be fun, ugh.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cora - Month Three

Cora at 3 months.....
  • If I could only type one thing about her being 3 months old, it would be: happy! She is the happiest, sweetest baby. She just lights up the room. You can't feel upset being around her. I just can't get enough of her sweetness. She will coo and "talk", and return smiles from anyone and everyone who glances her way. Everyone who meets her wants to take her home, especially the teacher in the infant room at G's school. She is the sweetest and I know her love for Cora will help with my transition back to work in June.
Easter with Nana

  • At her 10 week appointment, she weighed 12.2 lbs, was 22.5 inches long and her head measured 39.25 cm. I'm sure she's even bigger now at just over 3 months. She looks so big to me these days. She is wearing 3-6 month and 6 month clothing, and is in a size 2 diaper. Breastfeeding is going great. She definitely eats more often than G did, every hour and a half to two hours during the day. It doesn't bother me, especially when she is sleeping for so long at night. She does get some colic and of course spits up, but nothing awful. She liked the Breastflow bottle for the few times she has had it - she's taken it from Nana a couple times and from Nick the other day when I went on a school field trip with Grayson. She takes a pacifier now, but her favorite is her thumb (and fingers)! She also loves to hold onto her blankets, burp cloths, her clothes and her toys. I think it comforts her to be holding something. All just like her Mama - I sucked my thumb and had a blankie.

Tummy time with Daddy

All smiles
  • Her sleep is getting better. At 11 weeks, she started giving us 8 hour stretches on some nights. It's been wonderful! The last few nights she slept until 7 am! It's time to move her into her crib in her own room.

Cora's first trip to Disneyland, our favorite place (April 19th)
  • She wants to be sitting up all the time. She does sit-ups whenever I lay her down to change her diaper. I've started propping up the Boppy so she can sit. She also sits in her stroller and in a high chair at home. She's growing up soooo fast! It feels like all these milestones are happening so much faster this time, wahhhh :( Please slow down, baby girl.

She still loves the water. Swimming lessons start soon!

  • She enjoys being in her Solly wrap or Ergo when we are out and about. She will also sit in her stroller and is very content with it. She is just such a good baby. My sister got married on April 25th and she was an angel the entire day, while I had my makeup and hair done, while it poured rain, all through the ceremony and reception and until 11 pm when we got home. She was such a trooper! It makes me confident that she will do great on our upcoming road trip/camping vacation. 

Oh man, the girl clothes are SO fun!!

I'm a lucky Mama

Monday, March 23, 2015

Grayson - 2 1/2 Years

March 6th was Cora's 6 week doctor appointment as well as Grayson's 2 1/2 year appointment. He really turned 2 1/2 at the end of January but obviously things were crazy then. Everything looked great and the doctor was very happy with his growth and development.

Grayson at 2 1/2 years.....
  • My little man! He is growing too - he weighed 32.6 lbs and was 36.25 inches tall.

  • He is every bit of 2 1/2 - he can be difficult at times (a typical toddler) and we have had our share of meltdowns and tantrums. But at the same time he is such a sweetheart and has a sensitive side like his Mama. It's all about control at this age, so as the pediatrician says, we let him have control of things when possible and always give him choices. The good thing is that his language continues to improve, almost daily, and his understanding is getting better and better. He strings together 4 and 5 word sentences with ease. I love when we explain something to him and he actually listens and then responds "oh." You can tell that he does understand some reasoning. We use re-direction often and try to encourage him to do something else that is acceptable, and that works very well. We do use short time outs for things like hitting, but that doesn't happen often. We usually start with telling him that we will take away the toy, etc. if he doesn't listen and 99% of the time he will stop with that.
  • He is very independent and really picks up on everything around him. He wants to do almost everything himself... wash his hands, brush his teeth, undress and dress himself, gets into his booster seat to eat on his own, gets his own food out of the frig and cupboards, he turns the lights on and off, gets his plate or bowl and utensils himself, cleans his face and hands with his napkin, he cleans up his toys and messes, he loves to be involved in anything we are doing: cooking, cleaning, gardening, building things with his Dad, helping Mom with baby sister. I am always amazed at his memory - for example, he remembers places we have been before, like when we drive past a restaurant we have eaten at and he will point it out and mention what kind of food we ate there. He also remembers people and things he has done with them.  I am just in awe at how observant he is, even at this age.

  • He is going to be just like his Dad, with his building/fabricating skills. He loves to build with his Bristle Blocks, usually an airplane or a "pew pew." I especially enjoy watching his pretend play - he turns his toys into all kinds of things with just his imagination. It's so funny to watch him! He also plays a lot with his trains and train tracks, cars, airplanes, helicopters and tractors. His favorite books right now are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Pete the Cat: Wheels on the Bus and his construction/tractor book. His favorite movies are Cars, Planes, The Lego Movie and Big Hero 6. He spends a lot of time outside, either in the backyard playing in his sand box or riding his tricycle or Plasma Car... or at the park, climbing everything, going down the slides and swinging. It's warming up again and we've been in the pool a few times and to our lake. He is still a little fish, even when the water is freezing. We will be spending a lot of time in the water this summer! 

  • He is doing well at his Montessori school. He moved into the Ladybug class in January, which is ages 2 1/2 - 3 1/2. His teacher always comments on the things he builds with the bristle blocks and monkey gears. He is taking after his Dad, for sure. He is very good at cleaning up and enjoys the sand box and tricycles during outside time. He received the highest marks in dance, movement and drama on his last progress report. He has some incidents with hitting or grabbing, and they usually happen because another child takes something from him and he forgets to use his words. 

  • Potty training... we are in no rush and his school continues to work with him as well. He's gone pee on the potty twice for us. We are not pushing it, just offering the option to him every day. If he says no, then we don't try. But if he says yes, then he at least sits on the toilet. We are getting there and I'm not worried about when it happens. We were so happy and proud of him the other night before bed... all on his own he told us that he "needed to go" and ran into the bathroom, sat on the potty and peed! He's getting there :)
  • He is still a fantastic sleeper and eater! We are so thankful because we know how difficult those two things can be for most toddlers. I am especially thankful right now with his sister waking up during the night. He goes to bed by 8 pm and we usually have to wake him up for school around 7 am. On the weekends, he will sleep in until 8 or 8:30. He is still napping at school, usually an hour and a half to two hours. Same at home. However, he has had several days of no naps here and there both at school and at home. Sometimes it affects his mood and other times he does pretty well for not napping. He still loves most foods we give him and will at least try new things once. His favorites right now (and these change and rotate): salmon, chicken, ribs, steak, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, nuts, beans, tomatoes, salsa, BBQ sauce, veggie chips, applesauce, yogurt, strawberries, snap pea crisps, noodles, miso soup, fruit leathers, popcorn, cheese, pineapple, oranges, tangerines, artichokes, asparagus, popsicles, ice cream and Daddy's homemade pizza.

We are having so much fun watching this little boy grow up and learn all about the world. He is so happy and energetic, and always making us laugh. We just love him so much!

Cora - Month Two

Cora at 2 months.....
  • She is smiling all the time now! I think it might be my favorite thing of all. There is nothing like a sweet baby smile... melts my heart. She also does lots of cooing at us and the ceiling fans. She is such a sweet and happy girl. She only cries when she is hungry (and I haven't caught her early cues) or when she is colicky.

  • She is growing so much - at her 6 week appointment, she weighed in at 11lbs 2oz and measured 21.5 inches. I can't wait to see how much more she has grown at her 10 week appointment on April 3rd. Breastfeeding continues to go very well. She spits up a lot, but so did G for almost the entire first year. We have tried a bottle and she took about an ounce before she started gagging and wouldn't take anymore. She also gags on her pacifier so we don't use one at all. I ordered a Breastflow bottle to try so we will see how that goes. I've also been pumping to build a freezer stash and to make sure she gets used to a bottle before I go back to work at the end of June, and so Nick and I can go out for a movie date one of these nights.

  • Her sleep is getting better. Not as good as G who started sleeping 8 hours at 6 weeks old... we really got lucky with him in the sleep department. She falls asleep after cluster feeding all evening around 9 pm and then doesn't usually wake up until 3 am. It does vary some but that is the average. The other night she slept from 10 pm to 4 am - Mama was thrilled with that! She is up again between 6 and 7 am to eat and usually falls back asleep until I wake her up, around 9 am or so. She can be very loud, grunting a lot as she falls back asleep or farts/poops after a feeding. I may be moving her to her crib in her own room soon. We'll see.

  • She loves to lay on her play mat and bat around her toys. She also does tummy time well. She has had a very strong neck from the beginning and holds her head on her own really well. She even tried out the Bumbo a few days ago. I can tell already that she is going to really admire her big brother, just by the way she watches him when he talks or sings to her. I can't wait to watch their relationship develop as she gets older. And she adores her Daddy too :)

  • She really loves her baths! She smiles and kicks her feet. I can't wait to start swim lessons when she is 4 months old.